eyes, newborn

When will your baby's eyes attain their final color?

The iris of white babies is typically light blue or gray at birth. It gradually changes color as pigment is added during the first 6 mo of life. Final eye color may not be attained until 9 months or later. My firstborn's eyes were deep blue in his one year picture; at 18 months we noticed they had turned decidedly green.
How well can your baby see?
Normal newborns can certainly see, especially at close range. A newborn can see his mother's face in sharp focus at birth. In fact, Mother's face is the object he prefers to gaze upon. The visual acuity of newborns is about 20/400. The visual acuity improves rapidly and may reach 20/30 to 20/20 by the age of 2-3 years. By 8-10 weeks your baby should be able to track an object through 180° from one side of the body to the other.
When do tears appear in newborns?
Tears often are not present with crying until after 1-3 months of age.
What does excessive tearing or eye discharge mean?
In the first few weeks, this may be a commonly acquired eye infection (contracted during the passage down the birth canal) The baby probably has a blocked tear duct - dacryostenosis.
What if a newborn's eyes cross?
Eye crossing or misalignment is acceptable in the first few months of life if it is not constant. The eyes should stay properly aligned by about 3 months (and no later than 6 months). I personally refer any baby with eye crossing after 3 months to an ophthalmologist.
What caused the blood-red spot on the baby's eye?
This is a conjunctival hemorrhage. These may occur at birth and represent broken blood vessels on the surface of the sclera (the white part of the eyeball). These are resorbed and disappear in a few weeks without consequence.

See also heterochromia, differing eye color.

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